How Parentline Can Help You
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Trauma is a normal, natural response to experiencing or witnessing something dangerous or distressing. It may appear weeks, months or even years after a crisis or disaster event. Each child is different and may respond in a variety of ways and children of different ages may respond differently. Normal behavioural responses to a traumatic event can include:
Feelings of grief
Sleep issues and nightmares
Feelings of anxiety or insecurity
Aggression or emotional outbursts
Physical symptoms – e.g. stomach ache
Feelings of confusion or asking questions
Withdrawal or loss of interest in usual activities
It’s normal for children to process in their own time. Processing can take time and varies depending upon your child’s personality, past experiences and developmental age. Here are some other ways you can support your child:
Try as soon as possible to get children back to their usual routines
Be aware of other sources of information you child is exposed to (e.g. the media)
Involve them in altruistic or recovery activities such as donating, volunteer work, etc.
Put boundaries around media and sources of information to limit exposure to distressing or adult content
Make time to connect with your child in positive ways – this could be by doing something they enjoy, engaging in play or having fun
Communicate with your child – reassure them that they are safe, that things will get better and that we have brave people who help make our communities safe and help in times of disaster
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